Coronavirus USA live updates: news, cases, deaths and stimulus checks, today
Coronavirus live US: live updates - 17 July
US coronavirus latest: 14:00 PT/ 17:00 ET on Friday 17 July (23:00 CEST)
According to the latest figures published by Johns Hopkins University,13,926,476 cases have been detected worldwide, with 593,209 deaths and 7,796,508 people recovered.
In the USA, there have been 3,626,500 confirmed cases and 138,979 deaths, with 1,090,645 people recovered from the virus.
Major League Soccer has successfully finished the first round of the MLS is Back tournament after losing two teams, FC Dallas and Nashville SC, due to players testing positive for Covid-19. The league announced that their last two rounds of testing all players and staff members in Orlando, Florida, have been coronavirus free.
People queue to get the COVID-19 coronavirus walk-up testing service by the Florida Army National Guard partnered with the City of Miami Beach and the Florida Department of Health, at the testing Location at Miami Beach Convention Center in Miami Beach, Florida, USA, 17 July 2020. The Miami Beach Convention Center is on stand-by as an auxiliary 450-bed hospital if needed. (Estados Unidos) EFE/EPA/CRISTOBAL HERRERA-ULASHKEVICH
As the coronavirus pandemic ravaged households and businesses across America, the CARES Act was signed into law to help them deal with the financial challenges that they were being faced with. Already talk is closing in on further support for those most in need, although a new study shows that there was a disparity in the first round, based on race.
Congress will return on 20 July after the Independence Day holiday and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has been very open about a second stimulus relief package being approved by the end of this month. According to McConnell, negotiations between all parties have been going on and a new bill is soon to be approved.
18 states in "red zone", should roll back reopening: unpublished White House report
An unpublished report from the White House coronavirus task force, obtained and originally published by the Center for Public Integrity says that 18 states in the "Coronavirus Red Zone" should "revert to more stringent protective measures, limiting social gatherings to 10 people or fewer, closing bars and gyms and asking residents to wear masks at all times."
“The fact that it’s not public makes no sense to me,” said Dr. Ashish Jha, director of the Harvard Global Health Institute. “Why are we hiding this information from the American people? This should be published and updated every day.”
Trump is making the pandemic worse
"'We believe this President has great approval in this country. His historic Covid response speaks for itself,' White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said Thursday, encapsulating the bizarre parallel universe of an administration that thinks one of the most disastrous government failures of the modern age is a roaring political success."
There's more, a lot more: "We are the one outlier amongst all of our peer countries. All of Europe has contained their disease. And many parts of the world, not only have they contained, they've eliminated disease," says Dr. Ali Khan, dean of the College of Public Health at the University of Nebraska Medical Center.
Grim reading, but necessary.
$600 unemployment benefits boost: next stimulus bill needs to hurry
CNBC has reported that a renewed program of expanded jobless benefits in the United States may face delays if it isn't approved by 25/26 July.
Democrats set for reduced national convention
Having initially planned on a crowd of more than 50,000 at the Democratic convention in Milwaukee, the continuing surge in coronavirus figures in the US means the party is now preparing for an August event featuring just 300 people, the New York Times says.
"Negligent, callous and politically self-defeating"
CNN’s Stephen Collinson has branded US President Donald Trump’s handling of the coronavirus crisis as "negligent, callous and politically self-defeating" in the wake of the news that a record 77,000 fresh infections were added to the country’s case count on Thursday.
“Not only is Trump refusing to act in a manner appropriate to the magnitude of the emergency,” Collinson wrote on Friday, “he is using the country's loudest megaphone in a way almost guaranteed to make it worse, from presiding over a White House campaign to discredit the lifelong work of Dr. Anthony Fauci - a new front in his war on science and truth - to undermining efforts by local officials to convince people to wear masks to slow the spread of the disease.”
Even if extended, Americans may go without $600 benefits boost for weeks
Unemployed Americans may face quite a wait for their extra $600 in weekly benefits even if the scheme is extended, according a CNBC report. The Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) program is set to finish at the end of July, with lawmakers due to discuss whether or not to include such a provision in the next coronavirus relief package on their return from a two-week recess.
Michele Evermore of the National Unemployment Law Project told CNBC: "What’s going to happen is […] states will stop paying the $600 and will have to turn that function off in their computer system [when the FPUC ends in July]. To get it started back up again, it may take a while to reprogram. I’ve been told that even in states with modernized systems, it could still take weeks."
A sign (left) advises people to maintain social distancing in Huntington Beach, California, on Thursday. California this week drastically rolled back its reopening plans and ordered all indoor restaurants, bars and cinemas to close again as coronavirus cases continue to surge in the United States.
(Photo: Robyn Beck / AFP)
US records over 77,000 new coronavirus cases
The United States has again set a new single-day record for new coronavirus cases, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University, registering 77,300 fresh infections in the latest 24-hour cycle. A report in the Guardian notes that this is some 10,000 higher than the previous largest daily spike in cases, which came when the US recorded 67,800 on 10 July.
USA numbers vs Coronavirus
This is the news of the United States and the coronavirus. Sectors like Texas, South Carolina and Phoenix are in crisis.
Fauci implores young people to stay vigilant on coronavirus risk
The leading U.S. expert on infectious diseases, Dr. Anthony Fauci, on Thursday implored younger people to continue social distancing and other measures to curtail spread of the novel coronavirus, which has surged in some parts of the country.
"Please assume the societal responsibility of being part of the solution, not part of the problem," he said in a live interview with Facebook Inc Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg.
Social media platforms including Facebook, which in April removed “pseudoscience” as an option for advertisers, have been criticized for allowing the spread of misinformation about the pandemic, from bogus cures to wide-ranging conspiracy theories.
New U.S. cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, have climbed to over 60,000 a day from daily totals under 20,000 in May. The median age of those infected has fallen by about 15 years as younger people, many of whom may show few symptoms of illness, are being infected, Fauci said.
U.S. coronavirus cases shatter records and rise by almost 70,000 in single day
The United States reported almost 70,000 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday, a record daily increase for the seventh time this month, according to a Reuters tally.
U.S. deaths are also rising and have recently reached the highest levels since early June, led by Arizona, California, Florida and Texas, according to the tally.
More than half of all states - 30 out of 50 - have reported record one-day increases in cases this month. Infections are rising in almost all states, based on a Reuters analysis of cases the past two week compared with the prior two weeks.
Florida reported a record increase of more than 15,000 new COVID-19 cases in 24 hours on Sunday, as the Trump administration renewed its push for schools to reopen.
All the information you need to understand the coronavirus and ways to stay safe during the Covid-19 pandemic
How quickly will there be a vaccine?
Optimism over creating a vaccine, worries about producing enough. And fears that even once we have a vaccine, a lot of people will refuse to have it. Another important point: "There are other people who [think] we’re going to get the vaccine and it’s going to solve everything and things will go back to normal the next day. And that’s not the case either."
"The science should not stand in the way of this"
These quotes are remarkable, and not in a good way. Having said the science should not stand in the way, the White House press secretary says the science is "on our side". Clarity of thought from the administration in a pandemic is important.
McEnany also says, "everyone else in the Western world, our peer nations are doing it, we are the outlier here." Well, compared to many of the countries that are opening up schools, the US is definitely an outlier, in terms of cases and deaths.
Miami mayor "very, very close" to issuing stay-at-home order
Faced with rising numbers of cases and hospitals at over 95% capacity, Miami Mayor Francis Suárez says he is "very, very close" to putting out a new stay-at-home order. Saying the situation is "dire", Suárez said the "death rate will continue to go up if we don't take any more dramatic measures."
Asked why, if things are so bad, he doesn't issue the order now, he said ""We are potentially going to be doing that soon if things are not going to dramatically improve. We are talking about somewhere in the next few days, potentially within the next week."
Younger people: take this seriously
Facebook's Zuckerberg spoke to Dr. Fauci. As well as pleading with young people to follow the guidance on Covid-19 in a bid to protect their elders, the medical expert also pointed out that: “There are many, many young people who get infected. They get sick. They feel horrible for weeks and weeks,” and said he was aware of some young people suffering from something akin to chronic fatigue syndrome after having the virus.
Diversity in vaccine trials
Talking of J&J (see below), this is interesting from their twitter account.
Vaccine from J&J
Johnson & Johnson said on Thursday it was in talks to begin late-stage studies of its experimental coronavirus vaccine in September. "We are in discussions with the National Institute of Health with the objective to start the Phase III clinical trial ahead of its original schedule, potentially in late September," J&J Chief Scientific Officer Paul Stoffels said.
Meanwhile, the drugs giant is in talks with the government of Japan and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation about locking up allocations of its potential vaccine as it prepares to kick off human trials, the company's Chief Financial Officer Joseph Wolk told Reuters in an interview.
More than a hundred vaccines are under development to try and stop the Covid-19 pandemic, and drugmakers including J&J are working to ramp up supply for their vaccines in the face of unprecedented demand.
Hydroxychloroquine ineffective against mild COVID-19 study shows
The anti-malaria drug touted by U.S. President Donald Trump as a COVID-19 treatment was ineffective for patients with a mild version of the disease in a study conducted by researchers at the University of Minnesota. About 24% of the patients given hydroxychloroquine in the study had persisting symptoms over a 14-day period, while roughly 30% of the group given a placebo were determined to have persistent symptoms over the same period.
Basically despite the wild backing of it by Trump (and it would be fascinating to find out why he came to that conclusion), hydroxychloroquine has failed to show any benefit in any trial so far.
Georgia set for mask fight
Officials in the U.S. state of Georgia are headed for a clash over masks to fight the spread of the coronavirus after the Republican governor barred mayors from requiring residents to wear them. Governor Brian Kemp issued an executive order late on Wednesday suspending local regulations requiring "face coverings, masks, face shields or any other personal protective equipment" in public.
Florida records another 13,965 cases
On Thursday evening, the Florida Department of Health reported an increase of 13,965 cases of Covid-19 in the previous 24 hours. Total deaths rose by 156 to 4,677, setting a previous daily record of 132 that was set on Tuesday.
US cases and death rates
The number of daily cases is rising (now at over 60,000 having plateaued at 20,000 in May) but the daily number of deaths has fallen from 3,000 in April to 1,000 now. But that's not the whole picture, with a number of confounding factors making it difficult to track cases directly to deaths.
The good news is that more people may be surviving because we're simply a lot better at treating people who are very sick with the virus; the bad news is that there may be long lag time between people getting tested ever earlier and finally becoming sick and dying (up to two weeks from first reporting symptoms, with a further week for the death to be reported). Also worrying is that a lot of young people are getting infected - they might not end up being badly affected by the virus, but when they spend time with older relatives, there may be a more lethal spike.
Hello and welcome to our rolling news coverage of the Covid-19 pandemic in the United States
The number of cases across the States continues to rise steeply, with 39 states reporting an increase in new cases from last week. California, Arizona, Texas and Florida are seeing hospital bed shortages due to the surging rise in sick patients.
The number of confirmed cases in the US passed the 3.5 million mark on Thursday afternoon, while the death toll stands at over 138,000.